1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Could someone please tell me the basic feeding regiment?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by delsi64, May 15, 2009.

  1. delsi64

    delsi64 In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2009
    I am new and have heard a lot about feeding. I know to use chicken starter and then growing feed and then layer but I have also heard about grit, oyster shells etc. What and how do you feed your chickens the variety of foods and supplements?

  2. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Have feed available to them at all times. They will eat what they need. Treats as you see fit. And free range them. Just as important is fresh water. On the watering a good rule is, if you wouldn't drink the water change it.
  3. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Songster

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    Quote:yep, that's pretty much what i do with mine. i give mine free choice of grit, oyster shell and feed. I'll sprinkle scratch around the yard for them when they free range so they have something to do.

    as for starter,grower & layer, i will give them chick starter for the first two and a half months, and then grower for three more months. after that i give them layer. it works for me, but what works for one person may not work for the next.

    water is very important too. i always have more watering troughs then they need, and change the water if it gets dirty and poopy.

    you start giving them grit when you start giving them treats. if they are only eating chick starter they don't need the grit but onve you start giving them treats they will need it. you can mix it with their feed or you can just give them a little plate with grit in it and they will take what they need.

    if you're gonna mix it with their feed, make sure it's at a ratio of 1-10/grit-feed.

    hope i've helped~!
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  4. citrusdreams

    citrusdreams Songster

    May 4, 2009
    I usually use game starter, two bags for 26 chicks, then switch them to layer mash. My chicks are in a pen outside right now, so they get whatever bugs they want too. They're three weeks old.

    My chickens free range, so I don't need grit. I keep the layer mash (or whatever I'm feeding them) in the feeder at all times, but now that everyone is free ranging, I don't have to add as much because they're filling up while grazing. I don't do oyster shells unless there's a problem with their egg shells.

    And yes, clean water. The least our animals deserve is fresh clean water....

    as for treats, they get a lot of non-meat leftovers and stuff that might be too far gone for me but okay for them: strawberries, apples, bananas, cottage cheese, milk...stuff like that.
  5. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    I don't give oyster shells until they are ready to lay. That is too much calcium for chicks.
    I rarely use scratch, but that is my personal choice.

    Other than that, I think you have got it under control.

  6. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Most poultry specialists wouldn't suggest switching off of starter at only 3 weeks, as suggested on that "professor chicken" website. But then, I don't really know what is meant by "raising feed," either (& my pullets don't start laying then stop in a month or 2 and molt).

    Usually feed is:

    Egg production Pullets

    0 to 6 weeks - Starter
    6 to 14 weeks - Grower
    14 to 20 weeks - Developer (if you can find it)
    Laying > 20 weeks - Layer

    Poultry Science, Auburn University


  8. Little Peeps

    Little Peeps In the Brooder

    May 11, 2009
    Eureka, CA
    I also am confused by conflicting feed instructions on treats. I have 4 BO and 4 GLW that are 1 week old, they are getting wing feathers on starting little tail feathers, treats w/grit available ok at this early age?
    thanks for your input
  9. gimme sum eggs

    gimme sum eggs In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2009
    South Branch, MI
    Little Peeps,

    I waited till mine were 4 weeks old before they got a small taste of teats.
    Even now at almost 8 weeks, its a once-in-a-while thing for them. Maybe 1-2 times a week they get some cracked corn.

    At one week, I think their digestive system would have a hard time processing treat food. After all, they were still living off of the stored egg yolk after hatching for the first 2 days of life.

    Don't forget to take lots of pics when they're that young! They grow up fast![​IMG]
    I tried to get shots of ours every week or so to kinda make a chicken album.
    Last edited: May 17, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by